India and Russia are discussing final contract negotiations for acquisition of five advanced S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems worth $5.5 billion (INR 39,000 cr).
The S-400 Triumf missile shield system can detect, track and eliminate enemy’s stealth aircraft, spy planes, drones and missiles at a range of up to 400 km and altitude of 30 km.
According to Times of India, the Indian government is looking to sign the final contract in 2018-19 financial year and the first deliveries of S-400 surface-to-air (SAM) missile system and other components like all-terrain transporter-erector-launcher vehicles, radar and its associated battle-management system of command post and launchers, likely in two years.
“All the five S-400 systems, which can even take on medium-range ballistic missiles, apart from cruise missiles, will be delivered in 54 months. The force-multiplier will change the dynamics of air defence in the region,” Times of India quoted a defence ministry source as saying.
In December 2015, the Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC) cleared the game-changing acquisition of the S-400 systems, which later led to inking of inter-governmental agreement for five S-400 systems on October 2016.
With long-range radars to track 100 to 300 targets simultaneously, the S-400 has different kinds of supersonic and hypersonic missiles to intercept incoming aerial threats at different ranges. India is mainly going in for long-range (120-370-km) interception missiles.